Pauline Martin becomes the first woman in Ireland to hold the position of bank branch manager.
Allied Irish Banks (AIB) appoints Pauline Martin as branch manager at the bank in Ballybrack in Dublin. While the associated banks (AIB, Bank of Ireland, Northern Bank and Ulster Bank) already have a number of female managers, this appointment is the first time a woman is in charge of a branch.
When Pauline Martin first joined the bank in 1957, the marriage bar was in operation and moving through the bank's hierarchy was not a realistic ambition for a woman. However this situation changed in 1971 when AIB took the decision to introduce equality of working between men and women.
With the dropping of the marriage bar, it finally became possible for women to have a career with promotional possibilities in banking.
When granting bank loan applications, Pauline Martin will use her 23 years experience and not her gender to come to a decision. People may think women in banking are easier to manipulate than men but,
I’ve had a lot of experience in lending and possibly people would have that attitude but I think they’ll find we’ll treat them just the same as men will treat them.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 12 December 1980. The reporter is Derek Davis.